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Red Cross seeks donations to aid victims of house fires.

Byline: Jill Aho The Register-Guard

The Red Cross has given aid to the victims of more than 30 local house fires in the past four weeks, providing $14,000 in assistance for emergency lodging, clothes, food, medical supplies and personal items.

The Red Cross is asking for donations to help it provide emergency assistance to families affected by fires. Chris Pryor, executive director of the Oregon Pacific Chapter of the Red Cross, said in a news release that Red Cross assistance is especially important to families who live paycheck-to-paycheck.

"After a fire, they just don't have the resources to stay in a motel, buy groceries and replace everything," he said.

Rebecca Roby, local Red Cross development director, said the organization typically responds to one house fire a week in Lane County during the summer. In just the past week and a half, she said the Red Cross responded to 12 fires.

"It's very dry outside and we're responding to more and more fires," she said.

The Red Cross is urging area residents to take extra care when using barbecues, outdoor cookers and other open fires because conditions are right for small fires to quickly get out of control.

The Red Cross provides an average of $1,000 to victims of fire, depending on the size of their family and their particular needs. The Red Cross does not take donations of clothing or furniture, preferring instead to "give families the opportunity to personalize and match with what they need," Roby said.

Roby said the Red Cross does not have a specific financing goal, but would like to raise more than the $14,000 given out in recent weeks.

"We're trying to replace that and build up for what we're expecting to be a higher than normal winter as well," she said.

To donate to the Red Cross visit or call (541) 344-5244.
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Title Annotation:City/Region; In the past week and a half, the agency has reponded to 12 house fires in Lane County, much higher than the average
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 20, 2008
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